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Author Topic: Dialogue With the Athonites  (Read 4326 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: October 10, 2011, 05:51:14 AM »

I think I heard somewhere before that Metr. Bishoy was trying to have dialogue with the Athonites to "warm them up" (so to speak) towards the OO and a potential reunion between our two Churches. How is that going? I know the Athonites are one of the biggest hold-ups on the dialogues.
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 06:03:22 AM »

I think I heard somewhere before that Metr. Bishoy was trying to have dialogue with the Athonites to "warm them up" (so to speak) towards the OO and a potential reunion between our two Churches. How is that going? I know the Athonites are one of the biggest hold-ups on the dialogues.

There are big differences between the individual monasteries on Mount Athos.
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 06:09:50 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 07:26:01 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 07:43:25 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.
Do you think they are against lifting the anathemas off of Sts. Dioscoros and Severus?
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 08:54:03 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.

How's that logical to be in communion with those who are in intercommunion with alleged heretics. Huh
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 09:04:17 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.
Do you think they are against lifting the anathemas off of Sts. Dioscoros and Severus?

my guess would be that yes, they are against it. i asked the abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, PA if we were right to anathematize Dioscorus and Severus (because it was a question that came up in one of my seminary classes) and he immediately said "absolutely!" because, he said, Chalcedon is absolutely necessary for our theology.
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 09:53:59 AM »

^There's a difference between believing you were right to anathematize these men and to show an unwillingness to retract their anathemas. I believe my Church was right to anathematize Pope Leo, but most of my Hierarchs are willing to lift his anathema for reconciliation's sake.

As per my thoughts on the EO-OO divide, they are in a constant state of flux.
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 01:45:45 PM »

How's that logical to be in communion with those who are in intercommunion with alleged heretics. Huh

It's not logical. However, it's better to suffer the error of certain hierarchs, hoping they will repent, than to create further division by breaking communion with them.

Furthermore, they are not "in intercommunion" per se, but have issued certain pastoral agreements, whereby they will allow the EO to commune at OO churches and vice versa under certain circumstances (a mixed marriage in the case of Egypt, being too far from a church in the case of Syria). A less extreme example can be seen in the Russian Church, which declared that RCs could receive Orthodox sacraments on their death bed if no Catholic priest was available. This, of course, does not mean the Russian Church was "in intercommunion" with Rome.

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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 01:49:21 PM »

Do you think they are against lifting the anathemas off of Sts. Dioscoros and Severus?

I'm very good friends with an Athonite monk, who said something along the lines of "What's the big deal? Who cares? If their theology is orthodox, let's just unite already!" So, as you can see, opinions on Mount Athos are also varied. However, most would probably be against the lifting of anathemas.
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 01:53:10 PM »

As per my thoughts on the EO-OO divide, they are in a constant state of flux.

Clearly.  angel
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 01:57:06 PM »

As per my thoughts on the EO-OO divide, they are in a constant state of flux.

Clearly.  angel
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 02:51:56 PM »

But the mutual communion of laity EO/OO in Egypt, and in Syria, and in many places around the world is not economia. The Church cannot say that black is white. It cannot say that there is no grace at all in that communion but we will also consider their communion grace-filled. On the contrary it is a statement of a fact, that the EO and OO are both the Church, and it says no more and no less than the Fathers have always said.

St Cyril and St Severus were not overly concerned with who was commemorated in various places as long as the faith confessed was Orthodox. What mattered to them, and matters to me, is unity based on faith in Christ not acceptance of the same historical narrative as a precondition.

The idea that the EO should be baptised or chrismated is a novelty. The idea that OO should be baptised was a scandal when it occurred which shocked Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians. The idea that laity should face obstacles to communion is a novelty.

Many of the positions taken today are novelties. There were many 'almost' unions in the past and again and again it was understood that the faith was the same. It was polemics that stood in the way. And it was historical narratives that stood in the way. And it was terminology that stood in the way. It was not a substantially different faith that stood in the way.

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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 02:59:51 PM »

But the mutual communion of laity EO/OO in Egypt, and in Syria, and in many places around the world is not economia. The Church cannot say that black is white. It cannot say that there is no grace at all in that communion but we will also consider their communion grace-filled. On the contrary it is a statement of a fact, that the EO and OO are both the Church, and it says no more and no less than the Fathers have always said.

The general opinion of the Russian Church has long been that Rome has grace-filled sacraments, and it was on this basis that many of the pastoral decisions made by the Russian Church with respect to Catholics were made. The decision of the Russian Church was, in this case, condemned by the Church of Greece, for example. However, the Church of Greece never broke Communion with Moscow.

I'm simply showing that it is not inconsistent for the Athonites to disagree with the local decisions of lenient hiearchs without breaking Communion with them.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 07:59:56 PM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Source of your assumptions here and in the first post? (Not that I doubt them, just curious).
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2011, 08:02:33 PM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Source of your assumptions here and in the first post? (Not that I doubt them, just curious).
My apologies for resorting to "assumptions", but I have nothing heard nothing but animosity from the Athonites regarding the current EO-OO relationship. Plus, they also published that book "the non-Chalcedonian heretics" a few years back, fwiw.
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 08:04:22 PM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Source of your assumptions here and in the first post? (Not that I doubt them, just curious).
My apologies for resorting to "assumptions", but I have nothing heard nothing but animosity from the Athonites regarding the current EO-OO relationship. Plus, they also published that book "the non-Chalcedonian heretic" a few years back, fwiw.

With respect, I think "they" only refers to certain monasteries. Most statements I've heard from all the monasteries are denunciations of Ecumenical Patriarch shenanigans.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2011, 08:29:57 PM »

My apologies for resorting to "assumptions", but I have nothing heard nothing but animosity from the Athonites regarding the current EO-OO relationship. Plus, they also published that book "the non-Chalcedonian heretics" a few years back, fwiw.

That book was published by one monastery. Using "Athonite" as a collective term just doesn't work.

By the way, have you read that book? Besides the provocative title, the book is hardly an intolerant rant. It questions (in my opinion, unconvincingly) the findings of the Joint Agreements. However, it calls for further investigation of and more serious dialogue with the OO, not condemnation.
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2011, 09:49:55 PM »

My apologies for resorting to "assumptions", but I have nothing heard nothing but animosity from the Athonites regarding the current EO-OO relationship. Plus, they also published that book "the non-Chalcedonian heretics" a few years back, fwiw.

That book was published by one monastery. Using "Athonite" as a collective term just doesn't work.

By the way, have you read that book? Besides the provocative title, the book is hardly an intolerant rant. It questions (in my opinion, unconvincingly) the findings of the Joint Agreements. However, it calls for further investigation of and more serious dialogue with the OO, not condemnation.
My apologies for generalizing, please do forgive me. I did not read the book in its entirety, but I did read excerpts from it. I would agree that it at least tries (but fails, IMHO) to engage in the issues rather than just ranting.
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2011, 10:17:12 PM »

--bump--
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2011, 10:47:30 PM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.
Do you think they are against lifting the anathemas off of Sts. Dioscoros and Severus?

my guess would be that yes, they are against it. i asked the abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, PA if we were right to anathematize Dioscorus and Severus (because it was a question that came up in one of my seminary classes) and he immediately said "absolutely!" because, he said, Chalcedon is absolutely necessary for our theology.
Odd, as the Fathers of Chalcedon did not anathematize Pope Dioscoros, and Pat. Severus was not even born.
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2011, 08:54:16 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Against dialogue, no. Against premature reunion, and the various local agreements (inter-communion in Syria, inter-marriage in Egypt), yes.
Do you think they are against lifting the anathemas off of Sts. Dioscoros and Severus?

my guess would be that yes, they are against it. i asked the abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, PA if we were right to anathematize Dioscorus and Severus (because it was a question that came up in one of my seminary classes) and he immediately said "absolutely!" because, he said, Chalcedon is absolutely necessary for our theology.
Odd, as the Fathers of Chalcedon did not anathematize Pope Dioscoros, and Pat. Severus was not even born.

well he wasnt saying they were anathematized at Chalcedon, but that they rejected Chalcedon.
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2011, 09:03:25 AM »

What does it mean that we 'rejected Chalcedon'?

Why does that matter? (As a real question not polemics).
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2011, 10:48:01 AM »

^But, from my understanding ALL of Mt. Athos is against this dialogue. It would be nice if I were proven wrong, though.

Source of your assumptions here and in the first post? (Not that I doubt them, just curious).
My apologies for resorting to "assumptions", but I have nothing heard nothing but animosity from the Athonites regarding the current EO-OO relationship. Plus, they also published that book "the non-Chalcedonian heretics" a few years back, fwiw.

Since I’m not aware of any Athonites who are active on this forum, and I don’t see many people who feel confident enough to speak up as an authoritative voice representing the position of all of the monasteries on Mt. Athos concerning the Non-Chalcedonians, perhaps you can read and offer your reflection on the following two Athonite statements:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_athos.aspx

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_athos2.aspx

Some excerpts from the second link:

“If we understand the above correctly, a union is imminent. A union that the Patriarch of Antioch has already realized in part.

“Surely we should be celebrating the impending union if this union were proper and truly from an Orthodox point of view acceptable, that is, in truth. But since, as we intend to show, in our and other theologians' opinion the presuppositions are not fulfilled, we fear that a rushed union will result firstly to a false and dishonest union and secondly to an internal schism in our Holy Orthodox Church.”

[SNIP]

Regarding the monophysitic character Christology of the followers of Severos, Fr. G. Florovsky writes:

"For the followers of Severos the 'humanity' in Christ was not totally human, because it was not active, that is, it was not 'self-moving'. According to the monophysite view the humanity in Christ was like a pathetic object of the divine influences. Theosis seems to be a one-sided act of the divinity that does not take into consideration enough the synergy of the human freedom which in no way is accepted as a 'second object'. In their religious experience the element of freedom generally was not emphasized enough and it could be labeled as anthropological minimalism (lessening the human part in Christ)". (The Byzantine Fathers of the 5th Century, translation by P. Pale, Thessalonika 1992, p. 604).

[SNIP]

Of course in the Second Common Declaration they accept that "Both families agree that the natures have united hypostatically, naturally, with their proper energies and wills, without confusion, without change, without division and without separation and they are distinguished 'only in theory’".

We think that the "only in theory" permits interpretations leaning towards Monophysitism and it must be made clear from the Orthodox viewpoint. If the "only in theory" is in reference to the difference of the two natures as it is expressed in the dogma of the 5th Holy Ecumenical Synod, all is well. But if it means that the two natures exist only in theory then that is not Orthodox.

[SNIP]

The next point is in reference to a view that we cannot explain and even dare to say is most unsettling. This view was expressed recently by the Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III during his discourse in front of our Orthodox community for the dialogue with the Ancient Oriental Churches in Chambessy, last February [1994]. At that time the Coptic Patriarch said: "As regards the Ecumenical Synods, we accept the first three...we deny the Synod of Chalcedon...I can say completely openly that all the Oriental Churches cannot accept the Synod of Chalcedon...You have Seven Ecumenical Synods; if you lose one you are not losing a lot." (ibid. Met. Chry. Konstantinidis, p. 229-230)

We ask what kind of union will it be when we will accept the Ecumenical Synods and they will not? Will we hold Dioscorus and Severus as heretics while they hold them as saints? Will we have the Synod of Ephesus as a bandit synod while they have it as Orthodox? And how can they achieve a union with us when they do not accept our Church as it is, but only under certain conditions and mutilated?

If the Non-Chalcedonians believe that they are fully Orthodox and therefore their salvation is not at any risk, why then do they wish to unite with our Church, the Church which they do not accept totally, and why aren't they coming towards it with humility and repentance? Also what is compelling us to accept their conditions and to violate our own fundamental ecclesiastical principles?

It is possible that this expedient union is of political nature which is initiated by heretical groups plotting a union to confront their own needs. Is that a sufficient reason for a union?

Or perhaps ecclesiastical unions of peaceful coexistence are being pushed along to serve the political plans of unification and coexistence in our century?



If you look at both Athonite documents, I think you will see that the authors have given careful attention to the subject and have asked a number of questions that have very serious ramifications for the EOs.  Having just read over these documents again, I find myself in full agreement with the positions and concerns expressed by them.  I understand that you may be frustrated that these documents focus largely on issues of ecclesiology, the authority of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the authority of EO hymnography, and on procedural issues regarding the EO-OO dialogues; while giving little attention to a thorough critique of the Christology of Severus, Dioscorus, and others specifically.  As I’m sure you have noted, I also have not engaged you in a thorough discussion or evaluation of the writings of Severus, Dioscorus, and others whom the OOs consider saints, largely because I don’t highly regard my competency in this area nor do I have the time to adequately address this subject, but most importantly because  I believe in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” that the Orthodox Church is the “pillar and ground of the truth”, that the Lord promised that the Holy Spirit will guide the One Church “into all truth”, that consequently the Holy Spirit guided all Seven Ecumenical Councils and that they are infallible in their declarations, and that our service texts which speak of Dioscorus and Severus as heretics are also expressing the mind of the universal Church which has prayed and passed on these texts for centuries.  Additionally, I see nothing lacking in the Orthodox Church which would find some benefit from a union with the OOs (though I do desire to see EOs and OOs in communion again on the proper foundation), and I observe that many OOs eagerly read and relish our ancient and modern Fathers (St. Theophan the Recluse seems very popular today, the writings of the Philokalia, St. Maximus the Confessor, etc.) while EOs have seen very little to interest them in ancient or modern OO writings and saints.  For such reasons as these, it really doesn’t matter what my opinion would be on the Christology of Severus after reading a few quotes you selectively (though sincerely and kindly) send my way.  A “new take on the history of Chalcedon” also has little interest to me as 1) history can easily be twisted, and 2) the EO are not going to cease upholding the Seven Ecumenical Councils or the anti-Monophysite hymnography regardless of what any “new history” might say.  Such histories often focus on the human and political aspects of events, and depend a great deal on the interpretation of the author, whereas despite any unpleasant things which may have occurred at or after Chalcedon, the Church afterwards has accepted its decrees and those of the later Councils as inspired by the Holy Spirit nonetheless.  In an age where there are countless pseudo-scholars publishing the latest books on what “really happened” in the early Church with regard to Christ and his Apostles (including the heretical Fr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir’s [quasi-]Orthodox Seminary), such histories from a Non-Chalcedonian perspective do not leave a very great impression on me.

I hope you can understand that I say the above only to be honest and sincere, and not with a desire to be uncharitable or disrespectful.  I recognize your sincerity and your familiarity with the writings of those whom the OOs regard as their saints and Fathers, and I commend you for the respectful manner in which you have engaged the EOs (including myself) on this forum who have not always been very respectful in return.  If you are frustrated at all that subjects of interest to you have not been sufficiently responded to on the forum, just keep in mind that many of us simply do not have the competency for an adequate response, and many of us may be seeing the quotes you provide for the very first time.  If, as the first Athonite document linked above states,  “Maximus the Confessor, Sophronius of Jerusalem, Anastasius of Sinai, John Damascene, Photius the Great, Theodore the Studite, Theodosius the Cenobiarch, etc.” considered Non-Chalcedonian Christology to be heretical (even the writings of Severus), I too would like to see all of the relevant quotes on the subject, but many on this forum only have access to the little that has been translated from these Fathers into English.  Unfortunately, many of us are not even sufficiently familiar with the patristic writings that are in English, not to mention those which have not yet been translated. 

In concluding this message, I would highly recommend again that you read the links above which do a good job summarizing EO concerns regarding such an EO-OO union, and to appreciate that the subject is not simply a matter of committees developing fuzzy “joint statements” or of anonymous people on this forum swapping carefully selected quotes to solicit the approval of the other side.  I realize that your view of the possibility of such a union is not trivial, but I do think it would be important for you to better understand these EO objections which are not at all isolated to Mt. Athos.     
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2011, 10:57:40 AM »

The problem I have with the material you posted and which has been published as a booklet is that it is grotesquely full of errors, distortions and misunderstandings which led me to believe, when I first read it some years ago, that none of the authors had bothered to do any research or enquire of living non-Chalcedonians what they might believe.

If it were written by a theological student it should receive a bad fail!

I don't mind intelligent criticism based on solid knowledge. I don't mind hesitant criticism based on limited knowledge. But an absolute condemnation based on ignorance is deplorable when it is a matter of the life of Christ in the Church.

I am glad that this material does not represent all the Athonite Fathers, or even many of them, as it does not reflect well on whoever did write it.
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2011, 12:14:33 PM »

Lord willing, I will look over both, but in the meantime I'd introduce them with some remarks on your comments, trying to remain in the charitable spirit they were given.
If you look at both Athonite documents, I think you will see that the authors have given careful attention to the subject and have asked a number of questions that have very serious ramifications for the EOs.  Having just read over these documents again, I find myself in full agreement with the positions and concerns expressed by them.  I understand that you may be frustrated that these documents focus largely on issues of ecclesiology, the authority of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the authority of EO hymnography, and on procedural issues regarding the EO-OO dialogues; while giving little attention to a thorough critique of the Christology of Severus, Dioscorus, and others specifically.
This is a very serious problem, as it gives the impression to the OO that the EO condemn Pat. Severus, Pope Dioscoros, etc. as a matter of rote, an impression not without foundation for some (I'm not including you, for the simple reason that you freely admit that you do not feel yourself competant to judge them, and have to defer to those authorities you recognize, as is proper).

As I’m sure you have noted, I also have not engaged you in a thorough discussion or evaluation of the writings of Severus, Dioscorus, and others whom the OOs consider saints, largely because I don’t highly regard my competency in this area nor do I have the time to adequately address this subject, but most importantly because  I believe in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” that the Orthodox Church is the “pillar and ground of the truth”, that the Lord promised that the Holy Spirit will guide the One Church “into all truth”, that consequently the Holy Spirit guided all Seven Ecumenical Councils and that they are infallible in their declarations, and that our service texts which speak of Dioscorus and Severus as heretics are also expressing the mind of the universal Church which has prayed and passed on these texts for centuries.
The problem is, for instance in the case of Pope Dioscoros, such traditions as the icons of Chalcedon make Pope Discoros into the twin of Eutyches, almost like the anathemas of the Sixth Council against Pope Honorius and EP Sergius, seriously distort what the Fathers at Chalcedon did, who did not see fit to mention Pope Dioscoros after his deposition and said not a word about him in their declaration.  His deposition was in no way parrallel to the deposition of Nestorius.

Additionally, I see nothing lacking in the Orthodox Church which would find some benefit from a union with the OOs (though I do desire to see EOs and OOs in communion again on the proper foundation), and I observe that many OOs eagerly read and relish our ancient and modern Fathers (St. Theophan the Recluse seems very popular today, the writings of the Philokalia, St. Maximus the Confessor, etc.) while EOs have seen very little to interest them in ancient or modern OO writings and saints.
 
Like the Desert Fathers?
 
The writings of Matta al-miskiin are quite popular with EOs, as are many of the Armenian Classical writers and the likes of Bar Hebraeus.  That they do not write in Greek or Russian is what has dampened their popularity, as most EO do not know of them.  As they become available in English, French and other languages where the EO and OO overlapp, that is changing.

And many OO are eagerly venerated and relished by the EO, e.g.
Quote
October 24 / November 6. Martyr Arethas and those with him, including Martyr Syncletica and her two daughters. Blessed Elesbaan, king of Ethiopia.
http://www.pomog.org/index.html?http://www.pomog.org/saintlist.shtml
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Oct. 24, - Commemoration of the Great-martyr Arethas and his companions 

The Martyr Arethas and with him 4299 Martyrs suffered for the Lord Jesus Christ in the sixth century. Arethas was prefect of the Christian city of Negran in Arabia. The Arabian (or Omirite) king, Dunaan, who was Jewish, decided to eliminate Christianity from the land. He issued an edict that all followers of Christ were to be put to death. Because the inhabitants of Negran remained faithful to the Lord, Dunaan came with a large army to destroy the city. At the city walls of Negran the king's heralds announced that Dunaan would only spare those who renounced Christ and referred to His Cross as a "sign of malediction."

Not daring to assault the Christian city by force, Dunaan resorted to a ruse. Dunaan swore an oath that he would not force the Christians into Judaism, but would merely collect a tribute from Negran. The inhabitants of the city would not heed the advice of St Arethas, and putting their trust in Dunaan, they opened the city gates.

The very next day Dunaan gave orders to light an immense fire and throw all the clergy of the city into it in order to frighten the rest of the Christians. 427 men were burned. He also threw the prefect Arethas and the other chief men into prison. Then the oppressor sent his messengers through the city to convert the Christians to Judaism. Dunaan himself conversed with those inhabitants brought from the prisons, saying, "I do not demand that you should renounce the God of heaven and earth, nor do I want you to worship idols, I want merely that you do not believe in Jesus Christ, since the Crucified One was a man, and not God."

The holy martyrs replied that Jesus is God the Word, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Who for the salvation of mankind was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. Those suffering said, "We shall not abjure Christ, since He is Life for us. To die for Him is to find Life."

More than four thousand Christians, men, women, both the aged and children, from the city of Negran and surrounding villages suffered martyrdom for Christ.
Troparion - Tone 1
Through the sufferings which Your holy martyrs Arethas and his companions endured for Your sake, O Lord, we beseech You, O Lover of mankind: heal all of our infirmities.
Kondakion - Tone 4
Today the radiant feast of the passion-bearers Arethas and his companions comes to us as a herald of joy; as we celebrate it we glorify the Lord on high.
http://www.stjosephmelkitecatholicchurch.org/menaion_for_october/index.album/p-alignleft-bioct-20-commemoration-of-the-holy-greatmartyr-artemius?i=32
Quote
The Holy Martyr Arethas.
October 24
From the Prologue
This holy martyr suffered for the Christian faith with more than four thousand other Christians: priests, monks and nuns, townsmen and women and children. Arethas was the local governor of the town of Negran, in the land of Omir in southern Arabia, and was ninety-five years old when he suffered. The land of Omir was governed by a Jew called Dunaan, a vicious persecutor of Christians. Resolving to exterminate Christianity completely in his land, he laid siege to the Christian town of Negran and told the citizens that, if they did not deny Christ, he would put them all to death. The citizens closed the gates, and Dunaan attacked the city wall for a long time without success. Then the iniquitous governor swore to the citizens that he would do nothing to them if they opened the gate for him to enter and take the tribute owing to him, saying that he would then go away at once. The Christians believed him, and opened the gates. Then the bloodthirsty Jew summoned the aged Arethas to him, along with his clergy and other eminent citizens, and slew them all with the sword, and then indulged in a riot of butchery through the town. Hearing of this, the Byzantine Emperor, Justin, was greatly distressed and wrote a letter to the Ethiopian Emperor Elesbaan, urging him to set out with an army against Dunaan and avenge the Christian blood that had been spilled. Elesbaan obeyed Justin, attacked the governor of Omir, overcame him, slaughtered his entire army and put him to the sword. A devout man called Abramius was installed as ruler of Omir by God's revelation and, as archbishop, also by God's revelation, St Gregory (see Dec. 19th). In Negran, the Christians rebuilt the Church of the Holy Trinity that Dunaan had burned, and built a church to the holy martyr Arethas and the other martyrs of that city. They suffered and received wreaths of martyrdom from the Lord in 523.
From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
http://www.orthodox.net/menaion-october/24-holy-martyr-arethas.html


For such reasons as these, it really doesn’t matter what my opinion would be on the Christology of Severus after reading a few quotes you selectively (though sincerely and kindly) send my way.  A “new take on the history of Chalcedon” also has little interest to me as 1) history can easily be twisted,

unfortunately, not only OO are the ones doing it: you don't have to believe in the existence of a "Theodoreanism" to know that the Fathers in Chalcedon misjudged what was needed in some areas, the Fathers of the Fifth Council point that out.  You cannot deny all the OO critiques without denying the Fathers of the Fifth Council.

and 2) the EO are not going to cease upholding the Seven Ecumenical Councils or the anti-Monophysite hymnography regardless of what any “new history” might say.
 
The anti-Monophysite hymnography condemn the teachings of Eutyches, which has nothing to do with what the OO believe, now or ever.

Such histories often focus on the human and political aspects of events, and depend a great deal on the interpretation of the author, whereas despite any unpleasant things which may have occurred at or after Chalcedon, the Church afterwards has accepted its decrees and those of the later Councils as inspired by the Holy Spirit nonetheless.  In an age where there are countless pseudo-scholars publishing the latest books on what “really happened” in the early Church with regard to Christ and his Apostles (including the heretical Fr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir’s [quasi-]Orthodox Seminary)
now you pretty much shot your credibility, unless you are ready to defend your judgement against Fr. Paul and more importantly St. Vladimir's.  I say that in particular given the state of Russian seminaries in Holy Mother Russia the last two centuries or so before the founding of St. Vlad's.

such histories from a Non-Chalcedonian perspective do not leave a very great impression on me.
How about from a Chalcedonian perspective?

I hope you can understand that I say the above only to be honest and sincere, and not with a desire to be uncharitable or disrespectful.  I recognize your sincerity and your familiarity with the writings of those whom the OOs regard as their saints and Fathers, and I commend you for the respectful manner in which you have engaged the EOs (including myself) on this forum who have not always been very respectful in return.  If you are frustrated at all that subjects of interest to you have not been sufficiently responded to on the forum, just keep in mind that many of us simply do not have the competency for an adequate response, and many of us may be seeing the quotes you provide for the very first time.  If, as the first Athonite document linked above states,  “Maximus the Confessor, Sophronius of Jerusalem, Anastasius of Sinai, John Damascene, Photius the Great, Theodore the Studite, Theodosius the Cenobiarch, etc.” considered Non-Chalcedonian Christology to be heretical (even the writings of Severus), I too would like to see all of the relevant quotes on the subject, but many on this forum only have access to the little that has been translated from these Fathers into English.  Unfortunately, many of us are not even sufficiently familiar with the patristic writings that are in English, not to mention those which have not yet been translated.
That is a deficiency, btw, in OO writings as well, not only in English, but in Russian, Greek, etc.

In concluding this message, I would highly recommend again that you read the links above which do a good job summarizing EO concerns regarding such an EO-OO union, and to appreciate that the subject is not simply a matter of committees developing fuzzy “joint statements” or of anonymous people on this forum swapping carefully selected quotes to solicit the approval of the other side.  I realize that your view of the possibility of such a union is not trivial, but I do think it would be important for you to better understand these EO objections which are not at all isolated to Mt. Athos.   
True enough, even for someone who like me doesn't see Mt. Athos as the center of the Orthodox universe.
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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2011, 12:31:51 PM »

What does it mean that we 'rejected Chalcedon'?
At the very least, not accepting the Definition of Faith promulgated by the Fathers at Chalcedon (which would include endorsement of the Tome of Pope St. Leo).

On the flip side, it is rather odd to hear OO claim that they accept Ephesus II.  How is it "accepted," even the multilated form of its Acts that the OO possessed, but did not know about (until the publication of the MSS by Perry, how many could cite the council as authority, outside of the first session, preserved among the EO, not the OO?)?

Why does that matter? (As a real question not polemics).
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2011, 12:42:57 PM »

Such histories often focus on the human and political aspects of events, and depend a great deal on the interpretation of the author, whereas despite any unpleasant things which may have occurred at or after Chalcedon, the Church afterwards has accepted its decrees and those of the later Councils as inspired by the Holy Spirit nonetheless.  In an age where there are countless pseudo-scholars publishing the latest books on what “really happened” in the early Church with regard to Christ and his Apostles (including the heretical Fr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir’s [quasi-]Orthodox Seminary)
now you pretty much shot your credibility, unless you are ready to defend your judgement against Fr. Paul and more importantly St. Vladimir's.  I say that in particular given the state of Russian seminaries in Holy Mother Russia the last two centuries or so before the founding of St. Vlad's.

For lack of time, I just wanted to respond to this point with the following critique of Fr. Paul’s work by Archimandrite Touma (Bitar): 

http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/fr-paul-tarazi-from-study-to-heresy.aspx

St. Vladimir’s credibility has suffered by allowing Fr. Paul to teach his harmful theories for so long, as well as by their support of New Skete monastery.  In fact, there are a number of well known professors of St. Vladimir’s who have had very questionable views in the past.  In order to not derail the thread, I will simply leave it at that.  The point regarding Fr. Paul Tarazi’s “new take” on the dynamics between the Apostles is well covered by Archimandrite Touma as an example of how modern pseudo-scholars can quite easily construct a “new history” of past events out of thin air to support an agenda.       
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2011, 12:53:48 PM »

Such histories often focus on the human and political aspects of events, and depend a great deal on the interpretation of the author, whereas despite any unpleasant things which may have occurred at or after Chalcedon, the Church afterwards has accepted its decrees and those of the later Councils as inspired by the Holy Spirit nonetheless.  In an age where there are countless pseudo-scholars publishing the latest books on what “really happened” in the early Church with regard to Christ and his Apostles (including the heretical Fr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir’s [quasi-]Orthodox Seminary)
now you pretty much shot your credibility, unless you are ready to defend your judgement against Fr. Paul and more importantly St. Vladimir's.  I say that in particular given the state of Russian seminaries in Holy Mother Russia the last two centuries or so before the founding of St. Vlad's.

For lack of time, I just wanted to respond to this point with the following critique of Fr. Paul’s work by Archimandrite Touma (Bitar): 

http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/fr-paul-tarazi-from-study-to-heresy.aspx

St. Vladimir’s credibility has suffered by allowing Fr. Paul to teach his harmful theories for so long, as well as by their support of New Skete monastery.  In fact, there are a number of well known professors of St. Vladimir’s who have had very questionable views in the past.  In order to not derail the thread, I will simply leave it at that.  The point regarding Fr. Paul Tarazi’s “new take” on the dynamics between the Apostles is well covered by Archimandrite Touma as an example of how modern pseudo-scholars can quite easily construct a “new history” of past events out of thin air to support an agenda.
already resurrected the thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,919.msg657271/topicseen.html#msg657271

You, however, introduced it into a thread with its own problems, citing the example of Fr. Tarazi and a well known and established fact-which it is not-thereby entangling rather than clarifying.  It would be like bringing up Toll Houses.
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2011, 12:54:22 PM »

Good posts Ialmisry.

How was Constantinople II accepted? No-one in the West knew what it was about. The great saint Columbanus had got completely the wrong end of the stick.

How is Ephesus II accepted? I am not sure it is in the way you seem to be meaning. Indeed I am not sure that the OO developed the same dogmatic/polemical view of councils which developed after Chalcedon. Ephesus II was considered an ecumenical council, but I don't see the OO using it as a stick to beat Chalcedonians with. The important ones were (and are) Nicaea and Ephesus I.

All the later conciliar activity hopefully adds clarification to the Faith, and if not then as far as I can see the OO have moved on. Ephesus III included many hundreds of bishops. That is also not well known. It is surely an aspect of the Church to gather synodically but not every synod or council ends up being of lasting value to the Church.

So Ephesus II is important from an ecumenical, and historical truth point of view, but the Faith of the OO communion does not depend on it, rather it is illustrated by it. If you don't want to accept it as important then I'd want to know why not and if your rejection of it describes a different Faith, but counting councils in itself is not a guarantee of the Faith.

There are EO who haven't got a clue what the 7, 8 or 9 ecumenical councils taught, and even believe things that are condemned by these councils. WHat is meant by 'accepting' in such cases? What is meant by rejection in terms of Chalcedon.

I certainly don't consider the Definition of Faith or the Tome of Leo of lasting value to the Church. I appreciate respectfully that you do. But neither point of view in regard to the Definition or the Tome says anything exact about what we actually believe (as I know you know).

John of Antioch needed to accept certain aspects of the teaching of Ephesus I to come into communion with Cyril, but I don't believe he ever considered that Cyril's council was an ecumenical one, nor undoubtedly did Theodoret or Ibas ever consider it ecumenical.

And in regard to the last point, well I guess I am not asking you to remove your landmarks, nor willing to remove my own. Is it not important that after Constantinople II clarified Chalcedon and excluded various heretical positions we find ourselves in the same place? Does it matter absolutely that there is disagreement about certain aspects of history?

I don't think it absolutely matters to me. I will always consider Chalcedon problematic, and you may well always consider the anti-Chalcedonian response to Chalcedon problematic. But does that matter if on the substance of the Faith we are in agreement? If someone were to say that it is a matter of dogma that Chalcedon be 'accepted' or 'rejected' I would think that they didn't really understand the Faith at all.
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2011, 01:21:13 PM »

I think I heard somewhere before that Metr. Bishoy was trying to have dialogue with the Athonites to "warm them up" (so to speak) towards the OO and a potential reunion between our two Churches. How is that going? I know the Athonites are one of the biggest hold-ups on the dialogues.
Who are the Athonites? I may have to look in to it; thank you for the post.
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2011, 03:41:56 PM »

I think I heard somewhere before that Metr. Bishoy was trying to have dialogue with the Athonites to "warm them up" (so to speak) towards the OO and a potential reunion between our two Churches. How is that going? I know the Athonites are one of the biggest hold-ups on the dialogues.
Who are the Athonites? I may have to look in to it; thank you for the post.
The Athonites are the Monks of Mt. Athos. Mt. Athos is often described as the "center of monasticism" in the EO Church.
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2011, 03:43:44 PM »

@Jah777 I obviously disagree with you, but I thank you for taking the time to write such a courteous and logical response.

God bless.
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« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2011, 04:20:10 PM »

Good posts Ialmisry.

How was Constantinople II accepted? No-one in the West knew what it was about. The great saint Columbanus had got completely the wrong end of the stick.
For a receptionist like myself, and I would say the Orthodox Church, it doesn't matter.  Receptionism answers the criticism
Quote
Theologians such as Fr. John S. Romanides have argued, however, that the councils universally regarded as ecumenical within the Orthodox Church seemed of themselves to have no sense of requiring a reception by the Church before they went into effect. Their texts do indeed include self-declarations of their ecumenicity, and in most cases, their decrees immediately were written into Roman imperial law. No condition of later reception is reflected in the councils' texts.

Further, the question of when exactly one may say that the Church has received or rejected a council is not answerable by receptionist theory. Another ecclesiological problem is also created by receptionism: Why is it, for instance, that the Fourth Ecumenical Council may be said to have been "received by the whole Church" while significant numbers of Christians apparently within the Church rejected it, leading to the schism which even now persists? Such reasoning is circular, because whoever accepts a council is therefore inside the Church, but any who reject it are outside. In other words, such councils are ecumenical essentially because those who hold to their decrees declare themselves exclusively to be the Church.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Ecumenical_council
with that fact that Ecumenical Councils are called to answer an existential crisis, forcing a choice.  Neither Ephesus II nor Chalcedon (nor, for that matter the Iconoclasts' council of Hieria, nor the Arian council of Sirmium) contain any "sense of requiring a reception by the Church before they went into effect. Their texts do indeed include self-declarations of their ecumenicity, and in most cases, their decrees immediately were written into Roman imperial law. No condition of later reception is reflected in the councils' texts."  In contrast, the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople I was convened as a local Council, no representative of Rome attended and no bishop from the West and, because of Pat. Meletius opening the Synod, Rome was in schism with the participants.  If anything, its decree was writting Roman imperial law (the Edict of Thessalonica) into dogma.  And yet the Council had the greatest number of saints of any Council, and is universally accepted as Ecumenical by everyone except for aberrant heretics far from the mainstream of Christianity.  IOW, simply put, the detractors of "receptionism" want something external to Church to relieve them of the burden of taking a stand. Sorry, no such thing exists, despite what the Vatican says.

How is Ephesus II accepted?
Ultimately, it wasn't: the Emperor signed its decrees into law, and immediately he used the power of the state to enforce it, but it was nearly all undone within a matter of years, the only exceptions being that the three patriarchs Pope Dioscoros by Ephesus II put in power remained in power and sat at Chalcedon, deposing Pope Dioscoros, and that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem remained a Patriarchate, a decision ratified at Chalcedon. Except for the backdrop for Pope Dioscoros' high tide, it passed from the memory even of the OO.

I am not sure it is in the way you seem to be meaning. Indeed I am not sure that the OO developed the same dogmatic/polemical view of councils which developed after Chalcedon.
oh, it is displayed quite openly at Ephesus II about Ephesus I.

Ephesus II was considered an ecumenical council, but I don't see the OO using it as a stick to beat Chalcedonians with.
It may be labeled "Cyrillian," but its there.

The important ones were (and are) Nicaea and Ephesus I.

All the later conciliar activity hopefully adds clarification to the Faith, and if not then as far as I can see the OO have moved on. Ephesus III included many hundreds of bishops. That is also not well known. It is surely an aspect of the Church to gather synodically but not every synod or council ends up being of lasting value to the Church.
yes, we have the same idea of Ecumenical Councils, Pan-Orthodox councils and locals councils, and the distinction between them.

So Ephesus II is important from an ecumenical, and historical truth point of view, but the Faith of the OO communion does not depend on it, rather it is illustrated by it.
You have to paint a picture to make an illustration, and Ephesus II seems quite blank, barely more than a name.  One cannot even say that its decisions are held, as its main aim, the rehabilitation of Eutyches, has been edited out in view of subsequent events. Even its deposition of Theodoret and Ibas, given the manner of its procedural defects, has nothing to speak in its favor.

If you don't want to accept it as important then I'd want to know why not
Of course, in a historical sense, it is important.  As a theological statement, it has no importance at all: for the Chalcedonians, it is void.  For the non-Chalcedonians, where is its statement of faith?

and if your rejection of it describes a different Faith, but counting councils in itself is not a guarantee of the Faith.
which is exactly the point: it doesn't matter whether you accept 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 21 or 22 councils, but what Councils you accept.  When the EO say seven, we know which 7 we are talking about, and what they said.  I recall a theologian being examined in Greece, when he was asked to recite the Creed, rattled off the Definition of Nicea and Constantinople.  When he was told to preface that with "I believe", he began to try to explain his theology.  The bishops, however, would have none of it: if you cannot confess the Nicene Creed, we have no interest in anything further you want to say (Theodoret tried the same trick at Chalcedon).

There are EO who haven't got a clue what the 7, 8 or 9 ecumenical councils taught, and even believe things that are condemned by these councils.
There are plenty of US citizens who haven't a clue what is in the constitution, and plenty of British subjects who could tell you what is in Magna Charter, but I wouldn't ask to have their citizenship revoked.  There are those OO who haven't a clue about Councils 1-3 taught.  The question is do they differ to the bishops, who should know what they teach, and accept their correction.

WHat is meant by 'accepting' in such cases? What is meant by rejection in terms of Chalcedon.
Not knowing what Chalcedon taught is one thing, refusing to recognize what Chalcedon taught is another.
Rather than comparing apples and oranges, we can pick the creme of the crop and compare them as to what the Councils taught and the issues about their reception and rejection.

I certainly don't consider the Definition of Faith or the Tome of Leo of lasting value to the Church. I appreciate respectfully that you do. But neither point of view in regard to the Definition or the Tome says anything exact about what we actually believe (as I know you know).
That is an issue, in particlar for the Definition of Faith, because it does, as the title says, define the Faith.  If we are to compare the OO Faith and EO, whether to see that they are the same or to declare them different, ipso facto, the Definition of Chalcedon, as the definition of the EO Faith (amongst others), is involved and of lasting value to the Church.

John of Antioch needed to accept certain aspects of the teaching of Ephesus I to come into communion with Cyril, but I don't believe he ever considered that Cyril's council was an ecumenical one, nor undoubtedly did Theodoret or Ibas ever consider it ecumenical.
Neither of us have any interest in Theodoret or Ibas' opinions on these matters, nor is John of Antioch's determinative.  I don't believe for a moment that his reservations about the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus make you, Father, or any OO doubt the ecumenical status of Ephesus I.

And in regard to the last point, well I guess I am not asking you to remove your landmarks, nor willing to remove my own. Is it not important that after Constantinople II clarified Chalcedon and excluded various heretical positions we find ourselves in the same place? Does it matter absolutely that there is disagreement about certain aspects of history?
That is sort of like asking if we can depend on the synotics and do away with St. John's Gospel.  Finding oursevles in the same place is a problem crying out for a solution.

I don't think it absolutely matters to me. I will always consider Chalcedon problematic,
LOL. More problematic than Ephesus II, Father?

and you may well always consider the anti-Chalcedonian response to Chalcedon problematic. But does that matter if on the substance of the Faith we are in agreement? If someone were to say that it is a matter of dogma that Chalcedon be 'accepted' or 'rejected' I would think that they didn't really understand the Faith at all.
I'm afraid this is a rather odd statement, Father, given the OO spin on Theodoret and Ibas' anathematization of Nestorius and embrace of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (I).

I dare say, that if Eutyches had not "returned to his vomit," as someone quoted Pat. Sevrius (IIRC) later, and had Chalcedon not occured, the OO position on the council of Ephesus II would be quite different, more like the EO reception of Councils.  To the EO who know that you have not canonized Eutyches and not embraced his heresy, it bewilders us how exactly you "receive" Ephesus II, which seems to be the template we are being asked from the OO side to embrace.
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« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2011, 04:26:23 PM »

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I dare say, that if Eutyches had not "returned to his vomit," as someone quoted Pat. Sevrius (IIRC) later, and had Chalcedon not occured, the OO position on the council of Ephesus II would be quite different, more like the EO reception of Councils.  To the EO who know that you have not canonized Eutyches and not embraced his heresy, it bewilders us how exactly you "receive" Ephesus II, which seems to be the template we are being asked from the OO side to embrace.
We've been over this before. We "receive" Ephesus II because it only exonerated Eutyches after he confessed the Orthodox faith. The exoneration of Ibas and Theodoret at Chalcedon was far more extensive than Ephesus II's exoneration of Eutyches.

But, this thread is supposed to be about the Athonite/OO dialogue, if one exists. I *heard* Metr. Bishoy was seeking dialogue with them, is this true?
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« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2011, 04:49:36 PM »

Good post again.

If you have studied Ephesus II in detail you will see that it was not called to reinstate Eutyches at all. It was called, explicitly, to deal with a resurgence of 'Nestorianism'. Eutyches hardly features. He is only reinstated on the basis of his Nicene Faith which he has to express, and on the basis of various errors, which he has to reject. Flavian is reasonably condemned, he had, after all, insisted that the language of St Cyril was heretical.

I am not sure what you mean about 'spin' in regard to Theodoret and Ibas. The latest scholarship is all on the side of him having kept the same Theodorean Christology throughout his life, and there can be no doubt at all that Ibas was a disciple of Theodore of Mopsuestia to the end. It is not spin to say that Ibas could easily condemn Nestorius but could never condemn Theodore.

I think that you dismiss Ephesus II much too easily. It was not forgotten. It was indeed the basis of the criticism of Chalcedon.

As for your views on Ephesus II, well perhaps you do consider it void. But that is my view of Chalcedon. It has no positive value to the Church. But where does that leave us if we believe the same things.

And again I do believe that if the difference is only how we say things then it is anti-Christian to remain divided as if how we speak about the same belief matters more than what we believe. That isn't Christianity.

You say that there is a need to accept what Chalcedon taught, but what did it teach? If you express what it taught through the filter of Constantinople II then you pretty much state the same faith that the OO have always confessed wihout Chalcedon or Constantinople II. How are they necessary if in fact history shows that they are not universally necessary? Yet Constantinople II shows clearly that there were problems with Chalcedon which needed to be clarified. taking into account the political and polemical context in which Chalcedon could no longer be rejected, how is that necessity to clarify and correct Chalcedon different to the criticism which had always been raised against Chalcedon? The Chalcedon you accept is not the Chalcedon of 451 but the Chalcedon of Constantinople 553.

What happened at Constantinople 553 was a rebalancing of the Imperial Church from the bias towards Nestorianism which had been allowed at Chalcedon. Ibas and Theodoret were condemned, as they had been quite properly at Ephesus II (there is nothing wrong with the procedure at all. Ibas was a noisy partisan of Theodore and was busy translating his works into Syriac). The Cyrilline language of one incarnate nature and of two natures was allowed again.

When we meet with EO it is as those who have the faith of Constantinople, not those who have the faith of a bare Chalcedon. Indeed those EO who I have corresponded with who most express a deviant Christology are those who seem not to have properly accepted Constantinople 553. I remember quoting some of the texts from 553 to an intelligent EO and he told me that it was monophysite heresy!

Constantinople didn't have the greatest number of bishops as far as I am aware. The council held by Timothy, Ephesus III, had 700 bishops. And I said that the OO didn't develop a polemical view of councils after Chalcedon. Ephesus I, with Nicaea, were the foundation of Orthodoxy, but there was not an insistence that all councils had to be considered polemically as ecumenical as has happened in the EO communion. This means that the OO are able to react positively to the EO councils, while the EO have greater issues in acting positively and not polemically to those positive reactions.

In regard to the Definition of Chalcedon, it has value to you, as I said. And when comparing the EO and OO Faith it would be expected that you would have recourse to it, but that doesn't mean that it has value to the OO, even though the OO need to take account of it in terms of dialogue and understanding. I would have to say that I don't think you properly understand Ephesus II and would need to if you also wanted to engage in dialogue and understanding. It may be of no value to you, but you are wrong to say it has no value to the OO.

You miss my point about counting councils. When this is engaged in, and it is widely engaged in by EO especially, then it usually means that the substance of Faith is not being considered at all. When I am told 'accept the seven councils' usually the person saying this has no interest in describing what the seven councils teach, and investigating whether the OO Faith has the same substance. This is what I mean when I say that the OO do not usually play the game of counting councils.
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« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2011, 04:50:54 PM »

Met. Bishoy has met some of the Athonites. I don't think there is presently any movement with the EO in regard to the faith. It has stalled for a variety of reasons.
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« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2011, 04:55:33 PM »

Met. Bishoy has met some of the Athonites. I don't think there is presently any movement with the EO in regard to the faith. It has stalled for a variety of reasons.
I see,thank you then. Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2011, 04:58:11 PM »

Met. Bishoy has met some of the Athonites. I don't think there is presently any movement with the EO in regard to the faith. It has stalled for a variety of reasons.
Met. Bishoy and the Athonites seem like they'd get along swimmingly.
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« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2011, 05:02:01 PM »

Met. Bishoy has met some of the Athonites. I don't think there is presently any movement with the EO in regard to the faith. It has stalled for a variety of reasons.
Met. Bishoy and the Athonites seem like they'd get along swimmingly.
Why do you say that?
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« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2011, 05:04:45 PM »

Met. Bishoy has met some of the Athonites. I don't think there is presently any movement with the EO in regard to the faith. It has stalled for a variety of reasons.
Met. Bishoy and the Athonites seem like they'd get along swimmingly.
Why do you say that?
They both seem to be somewhat 'hardcore', if you know what I mean.
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« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2011, 05:52:14 PM »

I think I heard somewhere before that Metr. Bishoy was trying to have dialogue with the Athonites to "warm them up" (so to speak) towards the OO and a potential reunion between our two Churches. How is that going? I know the Athonites are one of the biggest hold-ups on the dialogues.
Who are the Athonites? I may have to look in to it; thank you for the post.
The Athonites are the Monks of Mt. Athos. Mt. Athos is often described as the "center of monasticism" in the EO Church.
Thank you for that reply. Here is the picture:
 
Is that correct?

Here is more about it: 
Quote
Mount Athos is situated in the entire third, eastern and most beautiful peninsula of Halkidiki, called the peninsula of Athos. It is the only place in Greece that is completely dedicated to prayer and worship of God. For this reason, it is called the Holy Mount. It is about 50 Km in length, 8 to 12 Km in width and it covers an area of about 350 square kilometres. Mount Athos is the oldest monastic republic still in existence.
http://www.chalkidiki.com/athos/
May we can get be helped from some one whose back ground is around there?
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« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2011, 06:30:00 PM »

Here is the picture:
 
Is that correct?

This is one of the many monasteries situated on Mount Athos. I think the one in the picture is Dochieriou, a truly beautiful monastery.
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